Ed is a physicist in aerospace by day, crazy adventurist by night. He drives the tech train around here and applies his industry knowledge to build, not just another blog, but a detailed content management system. He knows the importance of travel and adventure to recharge the soul from the rigors of corporate America and family life. He was the consummate weekend warrior, going on many crazy adventures like caving expeditions in Belize, hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-Rim-Rim day hike (albeit a long day), climbing Baboquivari peak for his 30th birthday, and racing in the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike race. Ed was not your ordinary rocket scientist or suburban dad.
Now he is an empty nester looking to start the next chapter in his life. That chapter is Coleman Concierge, the website I run with my partner in life and business, Jenn. In a nutshell, we are an Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity driven transformational and experiential travel. We advocate for sustainable and ethical tourism and truly believe in the power of travel to transform both ourselves as well as the world around us. Our tagline is “Amazing adventures for ordinary people” because we contend that you don’t have to be super rich, super fit, or super anything to have an amazing adventure. Expanding your comfort zone and trying new things will pay huge dividends in both health and happiness.
1. What got you into travel writing?
I married young and started a family, knowing that life comes in phases. I raised my family, built a successful career in aerospace, and secured my financial future.
I met Jenn after my kids were away at school, and knew it was time to phase shift from a weekend warrior to a world explorer. Travel writing allows me to unleash my creative side and tell stories with pictures and words instead of numbers and formulas.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
For me, it’s starting over again at the bottom of the totem pole. I have gotten used to being an expert people call when all heck breaks loose. Now, I am starting fresh at almost 50, having to prove my worth every day in every way.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
Believe it or not, I can go full dirtbag caveman. There is nothing I can’t do without, and I will still end the day smiling. Of course, to be fair, Jenn is more than a bit OCD and does most of the packing.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
Our first trip as travel writers, we took a road trip through Baja Mexico to the grey whale birthing lagoons in San Ignacio. The first morning out, we saw over 100 whales surfacing around us, and one mother even lifted her calf up to our boat and let me kiss them.
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
We believe that to be the best, you need to surround yourself by the best. We searched out the premier professional organizations and applied as soon as we were eligible. So far, the connections we have made and friends we found made everything worthwhile.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Be professional and keep your commitments. I have managed million-dollar projects with complicated technology and complex schedules. It’s not hard to turn in your work on time, return emails, and carry yourself like a professional. If you don’t have a paying gig yet, make your own editorial calendar and practice being on time with your own writing assignments.